The United Arab Emirates will launch a new Emirati space mission to explore the moon in 2024, the ruler of Dubai and the country’s Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on Tuesday.
The “Rashid” rover– named after Sheikh Mohammed’s father Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum – will be built in the UAE by a team of Emirati engineers, the ruler said.
“We have launched the Emirates Lunar Mission, a 100 percent Emirati-made lunar rover that will land on the surface of the moon by 2024 in areas not yet reached by previous exploration missions. We named the rover “Rashid” in honor of the man who sparked Dubai’s advancement,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
The unmanned spacecraft will travel to areas of the moon that have yet to be explored by previous missions.
The project will make the UAE the fourth country in the world to participate in a moon exploration mission and the first in the Arab region, Sheikh Mohammed said.
The country had in July launched a landmark mission to Mars – another first for the region.
The Hope Probe took off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center, marking the beginning of an almost 500 million kilometer journey into space.